Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why I was glad Martha Stewart went to prison...

I recently read in a friend's blog about her frustration with a Martha Stewart project, which got me
reminiscing about my own frustration... Now truth be told, I am very crafty (not in the evil maniacal sense :}) so I love Martha's craft projects, and haven't had a problem there. Cooking is something I am good at, but I am in no way a gourmet cook or pastry prodigy. I cook out of necessity not enjoyment. And it is this area where the Domestic Goddess got me.

See this:

     Photos © Martha Stewart Living

Beautiful, right? Garden cakes, what an amazing idea!
(My dad is a landscaper so I thought it would be a great cake to make him for his birthday...)

As someone who has worked in photography and graphics, in my opinion, Martha Stewart Living is the benchmark for beautiful editorial content. And you see, this is how she plays with your mind. She presents a stunning photograph of a dish, flower arrangement, or craft project, etc... put together with supplies from New York { that the rest of us mere mortals cannot get in our home states-unless of course we order them from her ($$$ brilliant business!)}, and she makes us believe that we too can make this beautiful whatever. Never mind that professionals worked hours on it to get it ready for the magazine... Never mind that you are going to try and do it around your crazy life and schedule... Martha just told you that you can! Before you even know what happened to you, you have been lured and your mouth is on the hook.

There is no going back now. It is in your head. You are excited! You are determined! So you go out and empty out your wallet to buy all the supplies (
you know, the ones Martha thinks everyone has lying around) you are going to need to accomplish what you are sure will be a new found area of brilliance in your talent suitcase. For me that meant a set of modelers tools to form all the vegetables for the garden, a whole bag of specialty food dyes, marzipan, and of course (the cheapest item) an open windowed cake box to show off what would surely be the most amazing cake ever.

Okay, now you are ready to roll!


Instructions √

Time √
(Sure, you've got about an hour or so before your life starts pounding on the door again...)

Now that you are deep in, you begin to realize that Martha
did not give you everything you need to accomplish your awesome feat. For every undertaking there are tricks, secrets even, that professionals or at least experienced laymen understand and know. Like perfect temperatures for things (E.g: room temp or refrigerator temp), perfect handling techniques, etc.. Editorial space is tight. Martha did not have room to give you all of that. You are equal to the professionals, remember. She helped you believe that. You already have this knowledge inside of you. (It is at this point that I start to think a Martha support line would be a brilliant idea and wonder if I could make millions of dollars implementing one...)

So you start the process of making your marzipan vegetables when you suddenly have the halting thought that you have NEVER worked with marzipan before. Weird stuff. There must be a secret to it. It is sticking to the tools. Sticking to itself. Sticking to your fingers. Martha must have warned and guarded you against this. So you check back to the instructions. Nope. (Remember what I said about editorial space..) Your garden is suddenly looking like a Semi-truck intruded and ran over all the vegetables. You are really starting to re-think your opinion of Ms. Stewart.

You are running out of time and patience, so you take the one vegetable you managed to make that actually looks like it should and place it in the middle of your beautiful crushed Oreo dirt bed (that part was easy). You tape the picture from the magazine of how the cake should look to that open window on the cake box that was supposed to be your showcase, and (if you're me) tell your dad how much you must love him that you would even attempt this crazy lady's cake. You also explain to dad that you decided to take a more interpretive approach and show how drought can affect a garden.

Now when they sent Martha to prison it seemed extreme (given what the Enron/Worldcom guys were getting away with at the same time), but when I think about that cake....



Ruby Red Slippers said...

I am impressed that you tried to tackle it!
I think I might be the "friend" you were refering to-I don't like Martha! Every craft she talks about ends up very, very bad for me!!!

Mommy Mac said...

Hey there!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog!

I would just like to say Martha is a trickster.

What looks so inspiring ends up so infuriating!

I have flopped so many times after being tricked into trying her trendiness!

.mac :)